Sunday, June 30, 2013

Picking Blueberries/ Lemonade At The Caboose

On Saturday, I went to Rutledge to visit my Dad.  That afternoon, we picked blueberries just down the road at Hard Labor Creek Blueberry Farm.  There is a nice article about it which you can read just here!  How long did it take?  I can't really say, time was suspended for me...there was a beautiful blue sky overhead with fluffy white clouds that blocked the scorching sun. The blueberry trees were quite tall and I wish that Richard could have been with me to reach up high.  I didn't have my camera but I can tell you that the blueberries grow in a cluster, reminding you of grapes, and the colors of them! Pale green they are to begin with, and then pale pink, purple and then ripening into that lovely dark blue.  (The blueberries are weighed after you pick them...they are $1.65 per pound, way better in price and quality than from the grocery store.)

If I were an artist, I am afraid that I would only want to paint fruit.  As it is, if I ever make fruit salad, I always line the little guys up and they sit there and pose for my photo! (Okay, you know I made Richard take this one, right?)   This time, I cooked the apples with some strawberries from my freezer (remember that I picked strawberries at the end of May?) and then put some blueberries in the same pot just at the end of the cooking.  Very good over vanilla ice cream!

Anybody else remember that I told you about a little cafe in Rutledge that is in a red caboose?  It is simply called "The Caboose"!  We stopped there after we picked the blueberries and they have fresh lemonade made from real lemons.  It sure was good after picking all those blueberries!  I picked enough that I have SEVEN quarts of blueberries in my freezer.  Blueberry muffins, anyone? Blueberry pancakes? How about some blueberry pie?  HA! You get the idea!   Just kidding, they keep in the freezer very well and I love to sprinkle a good handful over a fruit salad.  Thanks, Daddy, for taking me blueberry picking with you.  You are the best! (And you know he picked more than I did!)
Picking blueberries and drinking's a tough life, but somebody's gotta do it!

Thursday, June 27, 2013



Jerusalem Artichoke at Rock Outcrop Trail-Panola Mountain (We THINK it is Jerusalem Artichoke!)
Evening Primrose-Arabia Mountain (Bright red buds turn to orange and then, bloom to yellow!)
American Goldfinch (In Our Backyard!)

Yellow Flower at Rockdale River Trail at Panola Mountain (Not sure what this is!)

Yellow Rose from my Dad's house on Father's Day!
Coreopsis In Our Own Yard, The BEST it has ever looked!!
Coreopsis at Arabia Mountain

Yellow Mushroom on Watershed Trail at Panola Mountain

Hope you all like yellow! 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Kay Can Crochet (Like A Beginner)

 I made this dishcloth!  I love this pattern from Liz from Crochet in Color and you may find the pattern just here. (I also made her scarf with stripes with braided tassels at the end.) Thanks, Liz, for sharing some fantastic patterns!
You might think that since I learned to crochet as a teenager that I would be an expert by now.  You would think so but you would be wrong.  The crochet itself takes time but it is the fiddling around with it that takes even more! 
For example, I made this pink dishcloth to go with a wedding present and I loved the gray sheets in this gift bag, but to go with it, how about if  I crochet a little white heart but to attach it to the bag so  it will lay flat against the bag?  I finally just did a chain and attached it through the very top of the heart and then just tied it to the ribbon.  Now, this took an INSANE amount of time for me to think of this.
  The wrap that I was making...I put it down during the week and when I picked it up again, I forgot how I made the stitch and couldn't get it to match what I had already done!  I ended up making it into a cowl.  Sometimes, you have to take your mistakes and turn them into something else, since you have taken up so much time working on it!  Oh well, I didn't really need a wrap for the wedding, it was so hot, they gave out paper fans! 

This sweet little heart is by Lucy from Attic 24 and you may find her pattern here.  (Lucy has so many fans, she won the best crochet blog from a crochet/knitting magazine in England.  She is a truly talented artist and she shares a great many patterns. All of them so wonderful!  I love Lucy!) 
 My sister-in-law's mother just passed away a few months ago and this was her orchid and it has never bloomed so beautifully. 
Thirteen blooms total, just for you, Mary!
The wedding that I went to...the bride's grandmother had passed away just weeks before the wedding and she had been a great lover of her garden and the wild birds who visited it.  During the wedding , which was outside on the Verandah overlooking a golf course, birds began  to fly over the wedding couple and one even landed and watched the couple exchange their "I dos".   When I spoke with the bride's grandfather afterwards, he told me that he thought the same thing that I did, it was as if his beloved wife was  there watching it through the eyes of the bird.  (Martins, I think they were martins, Shirley would have known for sure what they were!)

Monday, June 24, 2013

Pretty Baby

Jim from his blog, Ocean Breezes, spoke of his Dad's 97th birthday yesterday! (Go and leave some birthday wishes for him if you would like,  a day late maybe, but good wishes are always welcome!)  Jim had a song on there that was popular in 1916, and I found another one too, and you might know it from old movies and cartoons, and it is the song, "Pretty Baby". 

Now, do you know what song or songs were the most popular when YOU were a pretty  baby?   The year that I was born, one of the songs that was very popular was "All Shook Up" by Elvis Presley and later in the year, "Jailhouse Rock".  Fantastic!  I love Elvis and I love that is the music that I would have heard...along with all my Dad's country music too, I am sure.  How about you? Have you ever thought what music was playing when you were being placed in your crib for the very first time?  
I just recently watched "King Creole" from 1958, one of the movies that Elvis made and he said that it was his favorite.   All of those bad movies that he made in the 60's , the ones that everyone makes fun of, I loved them.
I was just a kid, and even I could see they were a bit rubbish but I loved to hear him sing and I always liked hearing his Southern accent,  a real one, not a fake one and he almost always had some kid in one of his movies and I could always tell that he enjoyed them. (Not in a sick kind of way, just a fatherly kind of way.)
I think he does a fine job of acting too.  I read that Walter Matthau didn't think much of Elvis Presley, until he met him and worked with him, and then, he changed his mind. 
Now,  my purpose of this blog was to ask you about what song was popular the year that you were born, and now I am telling you all about an Elvis Presley movie!  Be sure to look it up the biggest hits from your year of birth, if you don't already know!  (One of the biggest hits for my husband's first year is "Only You And You Alone", by the Platters.  How perfect is that!)

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Loving New Zealand

" Love Birds" is a movie that Richard and I just watched on TV that was filmed in  Auckland, New Zealand.  What an incredibly beautiful city!  I have the link there which takes you to the official Auckland visitor's website. (Also, I have a clip from the movie. It's funny and sweet and it makes you want to go to New Zealand!)  A warning to you, once you start looking at these pictures and reading of all that is in or near Auckland, you will be New Zealand Dreaming for a while, just like me! I think that this website is one of the most amazing sites that I have come across, I am ready to get on a plane right now! (Just read from the news though, that New Zealand is having SNOW just now, even on the North Island, where they don't often have it.  Oh well, I suppose I will just keep dreaming!)

In Auckland, I love how the city looks so modern, and yet you are so close to beautiful beaches and walking trails.  There is even a trail that is COAST TO COAST and you can see the Pacific Ocean on one side and the Tasman Sea on the other side. What a fantastic place! Please let me know if you have been there! (And Graham and Paul, I know you live there, so I hope I don't get anything wrong here, I only know New Zealand from movies and from your blogs!) I was able to see the Hobbit House which is also on the North Island.  They built it for the movie and decided it leave it for the visitors to New Zealand. If you go to Paul's blog from New Zealand, he has photos of it here!

Now, don't even get me started on everything I also want to see on the South Island.  All the mountains and trails that are there would be like a dream to me...I love birds and flowers and everything in nature, so New Zealand just sounds like the perfect spot for someone who enjoys the outdoors...

Now, I have NEVER been there but that does not make me love it any less! I worked as a travel agent for many years and I sent people there so I had to know a bit about it.  I actually had to talk many people into going there and after they got back, they wished they had taken more time to see New Zealand! I did have a few travelers who were very wealthy and had traveled all over the world.  When I asked them what was the BEST place, their most favorite destination, one that that they were most grateful that they had seen, New Zealand was invariably the answer that they would give me.

Confession time: I started not to do this post but when I spilled some water on my desk at work today, and it reminded me very much of the shapes of the main islands of New Zealand, I thought it might be God's way of telling me I needed to go ahead with my post about New Zealand!

By the way, I really loved that movie that we watched.  " Love Birds" starred Rhys Darby and Sally Hawkins.  You might know Rhys Darby from "Flight of the Conchords", he plays their manager.  He is a really funny comedian and also a good singer! And guess what? I just read that Sally Hawkins is an English actress who is the daughter of Jacqui and Colin Hawkins, the children's authors! This might not mean anything to you, but you must know that I love children's books and recognize many authors. What, you say you are not surprised at all by that?  I know I should be insulted but you have to work harder than THAT to insult me!  (But please, don't try, I get insulted enough in my everyday life as it is.)  Okay now, hope you don't mind my little talk about New Zealand, I quite enjoyed my job as a travel agent.  I used to say, "Now, where in the world would you like to go?" to my customers, but no one quite got my sense of humor.  I am so glad that YOU do, oh dear, sweet reader of my blog! 
Old MacDonald Had a Farm    

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Evan Gattis- Oso Blanco

Once in a while, there is an inspiring story about someone in sports, about a nice guy who has struggled with inner demons but triumphs and makes it into Major League Baseball.  Meet Evan Gattis, known as "El Oso Blanco", the White Bear, the nickname he received when he played baseball in Venezuela....

Evan Gattis won a baseball scholarship to Texas A&M  but never showed up.  He went through several years of drinking and drugs and just doing odd jobs a valet, a ski lift operator, a janitor, and working in a pizza parlor  until he heard the counselor and spritual adviser,  Jeannie Zandi, while he was living in Dallas.  (He bounced around from Colorado, Oklahoma, Texas, Arizona, and California.)
Evan Gattis decided to go back to his love of baseball and played some great games in Venezuela. (He is 6'4" and weights 230 pounds, perhaps he looks a bit like a bear when he runs around the bases?)  In April of 2013, he played his first game as an Atlanta Brave and he homered on his first at bat!  Since then, he has been a delight to watch.  He has homered 14 times in 53 at bats and he has hit many of them as a pinch hitter straight off the bench.   My Dad loves to watch him...this is what my Dad says about him, "Just look at how he batting gloves, NOTHING, he just rubs his hands in the dirt and knocks that ball OUT of there!!  He plays ball the way they USED to play...I really like that!" (Most folks would say "old school" but my Dad would not use that expression!)

 You get such a great feeling of JOY from watching Evan Gattis play baseball.  He obviously went through some rough times before he made it to the Major Leagues and don't we all like the idea of cheering for the underdog?

We had a baseball game last night that started very late due to a rain delay.  It started close to 11PM and did not finish until almost 1:30AM. (Freddie Freeman won it in the bottom of the 9th!)  In that game, Evan Gattis was injured and is now on the DL for 15 days.  (DL means disabled list.)  I am sorry that he is out and I hope that he won't be out any longer than that.  I found a video that Evan Gattis made which I thought shows that he has a great sense of humor.  Please notice you can still see his powerful swing that has produced that wonderful TH-WACK sound of a homerun!  (I love that sound, there is nothing else like it!) 

Go  Braves!!  And hurry back, Evan Gattis!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Happy Father's Day Weekend!

THE BEST BISCUITS EVER!!! (Made by my Dad!)

Happy Father's Day to Pee-TAH, My English Father-in-law! xx

Happy Father's Day to My Dad!  xx

Happy Father's Day to C's Dad, too!   xx
Father's Day is this Sunday!  Why don't we  celebrate it for the whole weekend and call it a Father's Day WEEKEND, isn't that a good idea? We could do the same for Mother's Day too.  After all, where we would be without our parents? Nowhere, that's where!  I hope that all of you are able to get together with your Dads and have a great day/weekend.  If you no longer have your Dad, then I hope you will remember him and honor him in your heart.

 What is your FAVORITE memory of your childhood that involved your Dad?  (I have a lot myself, but seeing fireworks for the first time with my Dad, and seeing the ocean for the first time...those two memories stand out for me.  He didn't make a big deal about it, he let me see both of those, fireworks and the ocean, almost by surprise, so it made a BIG impression! In other words, he let me discover them for myself, so to speak!)

I have been busy lately.  I am going to a wedding on Saturday and just had to have a new dress! After buying said dress, I decided I needed to crochet a small wrap to wear it with it....could I make one just one week before the wedding? Not sure, but I am giving it a good try! Also, had to crochet a small gift to go with the wedding present...and while I am at it, why don't I crochet a small heart to attach to the wedding present gift bag? Oops...Richard needs more miracle cookies, had to make those too!  Between crocheting, severe thunderstorms, work demands, and a slow computer, I have not been able to visit with you very much.  I am sorry and I hope to do better! 

Now, don't forget to tell me your favorite story with your Dad!  Even if you no longer have him with you, you can still recall happy memories.
Love Always to all the Dads and to you!! xx

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Lost In Shangri-La

Imagine are reading a book late at night inside a cabin at a state park in Georgia, which sits very near the edge of a mountain gorge.  As you are reading the book, you realize that the description of what you are reading is so very near to what is just outside your door that it makes you raise your eyebrows a bit at the similarities of the settings.  This is what happened to me in April when I was at Cloudland Canyon State Park...

The book is "Lost In Shangri-La" by Mitchell Zuckoff.  It is the true story of an airplane crash in the side of a hidden mountain valley in New Guinea in 1945 and there were only three survivors, two men and one woman.  The plane ride was to have been a "treat" for those who were stationed in Hollandia, Indonesia during the war.   The survivors had to hack their way through thick trees and underbrush and rushing mountain rivers only to be confronted by the natives of New Guinea, who had never seen any white people before, but the natives did have a legend that one day, white people would come from the sky...

The account of how they interacted with the native Dani Tribe, how they were finally located, how paratroopers dropped supplies to them and the miraculous way of how they were finally rescued is something that you should read for yourself! 

Sunday, June 9, 2013

The Pier At Eastbourne



Ahh, the pier at should walk out upon it and smell that fresh sea air.  For people in England, piers might be very common, but to my American eyes, they are astonishing.  For the most part, the piers that I have seen are in Florida and are strictly for fishing.   This pier is for strolling upon and for all the arcade games for the kids that are in the big building at the front of the pier.  There are also some shops for buying cardigans and souvenirs. There is a fast food shop and a tearoom. Towards the end of the pier, there is even a camera obscura! At night, the pier is covered in  white lights, so it is beautiful at night as well as the day. You may read more about the pier here!  And at the very end of the pier, you may find! (And I forgot to say, there is a fish stall at the front of the pier, along with a Fish & Chips shop! Don't even get me started on how much I love the Fish & Chips in England!)  If you notice there are benches built in all along the pier and it is so peaceful to rest and to look out upon the sea.  Feeling that salty spray upon your face and hearing the cry of the seagulls combine to make a lasting memory.
The pier was completed in 1872.  Yes, I typed that correctly..1872!  Those Victorians, they sure knew how to build things and they knew how to build them with a great deal of beauty! (Jenny Woolf, I am still waiting for your book about the Victorians!)  Did you know that Lewis Carroll, beginning in 1877, spent every August in Eastbourne?  I love to think that I am walking in his footsteps.  I feel a little bit like Alice when I am in England, everything fills me with wonder!
 The pier could use a little tender loving care and I hope very much that the people who live in Eastbourne will see the pier the way that I see it, something that should be treasured and carefully preserved so that many more may enjoy it for years to come.  I understand that I am an American hoping for this but my love for the pier knows no boundaries!


Thursday, June 6, 2013

D-Day, June 6, 1944

Today is the 69th anniversary of the D-Day landings in Normandy, France.  I have written of my admiration for the veterans that I have met and corresponded with ...W. S. Connor, rescued from the Leopoldville who went on to fight in the Battle of the Bulge... Louie Zamperini, Japanese POW Survivor and inspirational Christian speaker, and Benjamin Purcell, vet from World War II, Korean War and Vietnam.  I remember a veteran telling me that you might read of the thousands and thousands of ships that made up the armada on D-Day but when you actually SAW them and the sight of the ships were AS FAR AS THE EYE COULD SEE, then it was an overwhelming feeling of pride and awe.  Before the troops landed on shore, the paratroopers had parachuted during the night before,  starting just after midnight.    If you notice from my profile, I was born in Toccoa, Georgia, which is where the army paratroopers, the 101st Airborne, were trained.  You might remember them from " Band of Brothers" which was a mini-series from 2001 on HBO.  Did you know that the actors who portrayed these men actually called them and asked their advice as they were filming? Dick Winters was flown into England so as to give his input in the filming!   (You really MUST know the name Dick Winters!)  "Band of Brothers" is very true to the book written by Stephen Ambrose and I would recommend them both to you.  Most of these soldiers have died now and it is thought that in six years all of the veterans from World War II will be gone.  I will never forget them.

The English Channel From Coast of England

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Sig Olson/Joys From Nature/Ebony Jewelwing

Sigurd F. Olson was an author, environmentalist and a strong advocate of the wilderness.  There is more information about him here.  He worked so hard to preserve and protect the wild areas and to make everyone understand the importance of them, not just the intelligentsia of the country.

"Joys come from simple and natural things...

Mists over meadows...
Sunlight on leaves...
And the path of the moon over the water."
My husband and I were able to spend most of the day yesterday at Stone Mountain and I thank you for your anniversary wishes!  I thought I saw a butterfly (it is pictured on the leaves in the sun in the photo above!) until it landed on this leaf and then, you can see it is a DAMSELFLY. What is the difference between a dragonfly and a damselfly?  When they are at rest, the dragonfly's wings will be straight out from the body, whereas the damselfly will fold its wings behind. The COLOR of this damselfly was incredible!  I looked it up and this is a male Ebony Jewelwing.  It is such a perfect name, it is jet black and the wings are quite large and black and in flight, it looks like a black butterfly...but when it lands, you can see it is not a butterfly!   That blue is the the most iridescent really is like a jewel! 

Monday, June 3, 2013

Our Anniversary With Ralph McTell Song!

Walking To Beachy Head.  Eastbourne, England.
 Hey! See on the side of my blog that Richard and I have been married since 1983?  We were married on June 4th, 1983 so tomorrow will be our 30th wedding anniversary!   Time flies when you are married to the right person!
Please notice how Richard always walks a few steps behind me, treats me like a queen, he does!
Panola Mountain- November 2012

In this photo, Richard is trying to be shorter and I am trying to be taller.  I bet you think I could find a better photo of the two of us, right?  HA! You would be wrong!!

Richard wears his camera on his hip just like a Western film star carries his gun in a holster.  Always has that camera at the ready!  But you already know that, you have seen so many of his great photos!
What great exciting plans do we have for this special day? It involves Stone Mountain and butterflies, that is all I can tell you!
I am making my Chocolate "Orange You Glad You Married Me" Cake.  I hope my husband likes it!
Hey, I have a song on here for you.  The artist is Ralph McTell and he is from Croydon, England, just like Richard and they went to the same school, John Ruskin.  (Ralph is older and was gone by the time Richard was there.)  Richard can play the guitar and he sounds just like this, so I have it here for you to enjoy. 
Wish us luck in climbing a mountain tomorrow.  It will be HOT!
Oh! And my header photo? Those are the flowers that Richard's parents gave us last year for our anniversary when we were in England.  Look, I am still enjoying them THIS year! 

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Memorial Day/Strawberries And Swimming

Early morning on Memorial Day, Richard and I walked the trails at Panola Mountain State Park.  From this wooden deck, you look over the rock outcrop and you can see Stone Mountain in the distance but the camera doesn't always see it.
 Very close to Panola Mountain is this strawberry farm where you can pick your own strawberries.You can't tell from this picture that Richard took of me, but I am in my ELEMENT in this strawberry field!  I am descended from a long line of farmers and the farmer in me must be enjoying just choosing the ripe strawberries without doing any of the work that has gone into growing them!

It got hot picking those strawberries, so why not go and cool off with my family in my brother's swimming pool?  I was able to get this shot of the beach ball in mid-air!  Doesn't this look like fun? How nice to lie back in this pool and look up at those puffy white clouds against that blue sky and to see all the beautiful green trees all around the yard!  Gorgeous spot on a gorgeous day.
After swimming, those strawberries were waiting that I had just picked that morning!  JOY!